Global Wanderer

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Promising adventure, this Newcastle home is richly layered with the inherent eclecticism of true global style.

Photography Tanya Zouev  /  Styling Maddy Evennett  /  Words Jacqui Greig

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Maddy Evennett has skillfully curated an interior based on her extensive travels, resulting in a personality-packed home that inspires wanderlust and reminiscing over adventures experienced.

Rich in natural textures, Maddy has blended the nuances of different cultures into a worldly, well-travelled whole. And while her home is now Instagram-famous (you can follow her at @hutchinson.house), it wasn’t always so. When Maddy and her husband, Ben, purchased the original 1950s house in 2016 as a newly married couple, it was unliveable.

“We wanted a house that was going to be a project, and in original condition,” Maddy explains. “The deciding factors of this property were the potential to rebuild and design our dream home, and the location.”

It was an ambitious plan that has paid off, thanks to the couple’s skill, perseverance and vision.

Structurally, three internal wall changes meant they could create an open-plan kitchen, dining and living area, along with extending the footprint of the bathroom. Consequently the existing kitchen, living room and bathroom were completely demolished and rebuilt.

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It wasn’t just the design that the couple were responsible for: With the exception of the electrical and plumbing, they got their hands well and truly dirty undertaking all the work themselves – some of which, while Maddy was pregnant with now-10-month-old baby Florence.

“Due to the house being in its original form, the biggest unexpected hurdle was having to do a full rewire of the electrics, which we had an electrician help us with,” says Maddy. “We even got the kitchen delivered in sections, and Ben and a friend installed it to save money.”

Overall, Maddy believes the pair’s biggest DIY triumph was their bathroom renovation, along with the built-in shelving and fireplace in the living room.

Maddy’s husband Ben custom made the kitchen bamboo bench tops from Bunnings to fit the cabinets. With the off-cuts he made the floating shelves.

 

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KITCHEN

“One of the things we love most about our kitchen and dining, is the natural light. I adore the contrast of our dark cabinets against the wood and white walls,” says Maddy. Statement features in this kitchen include bar stools from Naturally Cane and cabinets painted in Taubmans ‘Black Granite’.

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Although having lived in Australia for four years, Maddy is originally from the UK, which is where her timeless ‘English’ colour choices of blue and white originate. Meanwhile, an overall neutral palette allows the freshness of her abundant greenery to pop: “It reflects our informal beach lifestyle, and allows the flexibility of experimenting with patterns and colours throughout the changing seasons.”

Maddy adds, “Ben and I have travelled for years overseas, and although our home is overall neutral and beachy, there is a strong global influence. Many pieces we own are unique and derived from places all over the world – from the Moroccan rugs I handpicked in the Atlas Mountains, to the African Mali mud cloth I chose in a European flea market. I love artwork, ornaments and textiles that tell a story.”

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COASTAL RETREAT

“I wanted the bedroom to feel seamless with the rest of our home with neutral colours and white walls. My favourite aspect is the horizontal shiplap wall which adds depth and offers another dimension to the room,” says Maddy.

Textiles and rugs are a favourite of Maddy, who loves the warmth and character they bring to an interior. She confesses she has a slight addiction to styling (and re-styling!) her shelves, and it’s here that her true design savvy shines with thoughtful vignettes that truly reflect the couple’s shared history.

“Ornaments such as baskets, books and everyday objects on display make your home feel personal and lived-in,” says Maddy, “but plants and greenery cut from the garden bring life to any space.”

“I think the important thing is to make your house your home,” Maddy concludes. “Let it reflect and be an image of who you are… Let your home tell your story.”

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SHOP THE LOOK >


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Want to see this home in print? You’ll find the full home tour in our Escape edition, available in newsagents, select stores and through our online shop. Click here to buy.